Ukulhas

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Ukulhas
Inhabited island
Dhoani view of Ukulhas
Dhoani view of Ukulhas
Ukulhas is located in Maldives
Ukulhas
Ukulhas
Location in Maldives
Coordinates: 04°12′50″N 72°51′52″E / 4.21389°N 72.86444°E / 4.21389; 72.86444Coordinates: 04°12′50″N 72°51′52″E / 4.21389°N 72.86444°E / 4.21389; 72.86444
Country Maldives
Geographic atoll Ari Atoll
Administrative atoll Alif Alif Atoll
Distance to Malé 71.68 km (44.54 mi)
Area
 • Total 1 km2 (0.4 sq mi)
Dimensions
 • Length 1.025 km (0.637 mi)
 • Width 0.225 km (0.140 mi)
Population (2014)[1]
 • Total 1,005 (including foreigners)
Time zone MST (UTC+05:00)

Ukulhas(Dhivehi: އުކުޅަސް), one of the inhabited islands of Alif Alif Atoll, is a uniquely featured, environmentally friendly island in the Maldives.

Ukulhas is well known for its cleanliness, well-maintained waste management system and also known as first systematically waste managed island in the history of Republic of Maldives. Ukulhas conducts several cleaning and planting programs each year and organizes several awareness programs on waste management, marine ecosystems, and biodiversity. As being recognized as an environmental role model island in the Republic of Maldives, Ukulhas achieved a Green Leaf award in 2014 for its outstanding services on protecting and preserving the island's environment.

History[edit]

Historical changes on lifestyle[edit]

Like all other islands of Maldives, Ukulhas also had a series of historical changes throughout the centuries. The people, way of life, social, economic and political changes had been stepping forward in a periodic manner. Bracing back into the history of Ukulhas Island, the island itself had been encircled by a sandy beach, where no bridges, no sea walls ever had been built before. Due to lack of breaking water or sea wall facilities the island had experienced several endangered incidents had occurred by the huge waves breaking against innocent white sandy beaches. Large vessels were not used for fishing or any means of transport. Stepping ashore from a Dhoni (traditional fishing vessel) could be practiced by the hand of someone, who had been holding and controlling a canoe by his hand while working in the lagoon and the passage through the surf in these boats is dangerous at times.

People in the island appeared have regular features that tranquil expression usually found in Orientals. People were with different colors, such as quite fair, darker, complexions which approached a mahogany tint. The streets were straight, broad, and shaded with trees, and are kept very clean. Houses in the island were built of plaited coconut leaves plastered over with a stiff mud, and roofed with coconut leaves thatch; they were usually divided into two apartments, communicating by a doorway closed by a curtain, where front apartment is the general and sleeping room in, and is furnished with benches around the wall and a few stools beside a bed, which always the most conspicuous article of furniture in Maldivian house. This is suspended from the roof by chains or rope, the material of which depends upon the caste to which the proprietor belongs. High castes using brass chains, middle casts iron chains, and low casts coiled rope. The legs are also provided in order that the bed may be lowered down in case of illness, when the swinging motion to which it is liable would be social danger or annoyance to the patient. The furniture of the bed is a matter of great importance; high castes use a mattress and pillows of red silk; middle castes are content with cotton stuff; while low casts sleep on straw. The mattress on straw is covered with a mat, the pattern and quality of which are regulated by the caste of the owner. Ukulhas people were very quiet and reserved in their intercourse with foreigners until their confidence has been gained, when they had showed themselves hospitable to a degree. They had few wants and in, and as they possess the means of easily satisfying them, were inclined to be indolent; sober, honest, and cheerful, they had been comparing favourably with the inhabitants of many other Eastern countries. They were very ingenious and expert in their manufactures, and display great aptitude in the imitation of any European articles they may come across, such as knife handles, scales, and other small articles of daily use.

The trade of the Máldives must all pass through in Malé and is mostly carried on indolent on the principle of barter. The bazaar in Malé is the only one which exists in the group, and it is here that all the foreign trade is carried on. The shops are the personal property of the Sultan, who lets them out to a number of Bombay merchants, at rents varying from 15 rupees to 50 rupees per month. These Bombay merchants mostly sell rice and cotton goods to the natives, taking in exchange tortoise-shell, coconuts, cowries, and dried fish.

As like all the Maldivians, Ukulhas people had been following Islamic law that generally supposed that their conversation to the faith of prophet took place some 1400 years back. They had been following their religious procedures in particular. Their mosques were small and well built and kept in clean. Separate mosques were built for male and female worship. However the largest and most spacious mosque called Hukuru Miskiyu was set and used for the males as though their ceremonial prayers such as Friday prayers, Eid prayers, Eclipse prayer etc. were specialised for the males only and which the ceremony was so essential to the public. They were religious even though they had a strong belief of Devils. People were afraid of devils as though their superstitions exercise a great influence on their daily life. They had a belief that a Devil could make them responsible for all mishaps which befall which made them to expose themselves at nights unwillingly, for fair of meeting him.

Historical life in Ukulhas long time back

Ukulhas had a trend of getting married at an early age. As soon as they matured, they hurried to get married with someone. According to Islam, polygamy was allowed, but the number of wives was limited to four, well in accordance with Islamic shari’ah. The marriage ceremony was extremely simple; a man satisfied the parents of his intended bride of their mutual wish to be joined in matrimony. The magistrate thereupon declared them to be man and wife, calling upon those assembled to be witnesses. It would readily be understood that a bond so lightly tied can be as easily severed; should a couple not agree, they would attend again before the magistrate, who after satisfying himself that both parties desired the separation, declared the marriage annulled.

Like all other Eastern countries, all household duties were left to women, whose main job was to prepare the meals for their husbands and family. They were not allowed to have their meals with their husbands; they kept wait until their husbands had fished their meal, when they retired to their own apartment for their repast. They were rarely allowed to go out during night time as the devils might disturb them.

Crimes were really rare in the island; the death penalty was never inflicted, the severest penalty being banishment to another inhabited island for a period commensurate with the offence committed. The most common punishment was castigation, the blows being dealt on the back and thighs with a sheet of leather inserted into a handle; but when the punishment was intended to be very severe iron nails were inserted in the leather, which cruelly lacerated the flesh; this must have been a very rare occurrence.

Historical facts of Ukulhas[edit]

Mother of Sultan Mohamed Imadhudheen II (Dhiyamigilee Bandaarain) called ‘Kan'baa Aminath Binth Mohamed’ (Ukulhahu Bodu Kan’baafaanu) is known to be from Ukulhas.

Ukulhas won the 1st place on National Cultural Music Competition called ‘Thaarajehun’(Thaara was called a duff). Thaara has a traditional Ray skin drum head with tuning machines installed discreetly underneath the drum) at the time of Sultan Shamsuddin.

Ukulhas won the 1st place on National Island Cleaning Competition among the female sector at the time of President Mohamed Ameen.

Ukulhas recognizes one of the first islands which established formal schools in the island among all other inhabited islands of Maldives at the time of President Mohamed Ameen. The school was known ‘Reethi Madharusaa’ (Beautiful School)

Ukulhas won the 1st place on National Canoeing Competition (Gaumee Reyhah falijehumuge Mubaaraai) at the time of President Mohamed Ameen. By winning three times on National Fishing Competition in the year 1963, 1964, and 1965, Ukulhas had owned the National Fishing Trophy at the time of President Ibrahim Nasir.

The first Cable TV center in the Maldives was established in Ukulhas in 1995 with the initiation of Ibrahim Ali (Bahaareege, AA Ukulhas) and Amir Khalid (Reynige, AA Ukulhas). At that time only 12 channels were rebroadcast by the Cable TV Centre to all the residences.

Historical changes on electricity[edit]

Ukulhas was firstly electrified on 16 December 1982 by the initiation of Abdulla Ali, Green Villa in association with owners of fishing vessels and Ukulhas community. Firstly electricity was transferred by only a 10 KW generator to residences, four mosques Island office. Generator cost was MVR 26000, wiring MVR 1800 and the construction of power house was MVR 2500. Hence the total installation cost of electricity was MVR 46500. The highest contributors of the program were;

1.Mr. Ibrahim Ali (Irumatheege, Aa.Ukulhas)

2.Mr. Mohamed Khalid (Daisy Maage’, Aa. Ukulhas)

3.Late. Hassan Ahmed Fulhu (Javaahirumaage’, Aa.Ukulhas)

4.Mr. Ibrahim Ali (Green Villa, Aa.Ukulhas)

5.Late. Imad Khalid (Sharmeela Manzil, Aa.Ukulhas)

6.Mr. Ali Adam (Guleynooranmaage, Aa.Ukulhas)

7.Late. Waleed Khalid (Noovilaage’, Aa.Ukulhas)

Wiring and generator installation was done by Island Chief of K.Hura Mr. Rasheed and the generator was imported from Singapore by Mr. Velanbuli Alifulhu, Ma.Velanbulige, Male’. The whole task was completed successfully at the time of the Island chief Late Waleed Khalid. (Ref; Report Book dated on 3 Feb 1983.) Ukulhas is known to be the 1st electrified Island among all other inhabited islands (except Male’) in Maldives in the year 1982. The first time electricity was provided for only four hours, from 6 to 10 pm. Later on it was transformed and made for six hours. Likewise it was extended gradually up to 24 hours a day. Ukulhas also known to be the 1st electrified island for 24 hrs a day (Except Male’) by the immense effort led by the Ukulhas people.

Geography[edit]

Sunset Beach in UKulhas

Ukulhas is close to the Northern boundary of Alif Alif Atoll, at 72° 51′ 52” E, 04° 12′ 54” N. The island is 71.68 km (45 mi; 39 nmi) west of the country's capital, Malé.[2] It is an oval-shaped, flat coral sand cay, oriented North-West to South-East, 1025 meters long, 225 meters wide, for an area of 17.4 hectares.[3][4]

Bird's eye view of Ukulhas

Climate[edit]

Harbor view of Ukulhas

Ukulhas has a tropical climate however warm temperature year around could experience with sunshine. The warm climate has got relatively minor variation in daily temperature throughout a year period. The weather is seemed to large during monsoons. Southwest monsoon lasts from May to November when the northeast monsoon goes from December to April. April is the hottest in average and December is to be recorded as coolest season in average. The month February is notably seen as the driest season while December to April being relatively dries. Maldives is lucky to be remaining as a safe and harmonious country as severe storms are rare made by its location in the equatorial belt.

Front view of Ukulhas at the front jetty

Demography[edit]

Historical population
YearPop.±%
2006 615—    
2014 921+49.8%
2006-2014: Census populations
Source: [5]

Governance[edit]

The island has had a series of political changes throughout the last couple of decades. Before the existence and the ratification of present constitution, the island had been entirely centralized by the central government. The island had a chief (Head of the Island) who had to be appointed by the Atoll chief (Head of Atoll). The atoll chief was a person who had to be appointed by the Minister of Atolls and Administration. Because of an autocratic rule which had been kept over the people by the government, the island chief had no power to make his own decision for his concern matters; he had to send messages to the Atoll office where the Atoll Chief had to get prior permission by Minister of Atolls and Administration before sending back the reply to the island office. So the minister had the fully power to control over the island and its people. Because of the appointees to the chief posts of the island and atoll, chiefs or heads were fully controlled by the Minister. As a result of those appointees, island people had no power to elect the people by themselves. Eventually disputes started to arise between chiefs and the people of the island. Island people did not have the right to decide what they wanted; beside that they had to accept whatever orders were given by the island chief, either good or bad.

After the ratification of the present constitution dated on 7 August 2008, within the democratic movement in the government everything had revolved. The centralized system of the government had changed into a decentralized system. Local governments were formed in the name of local councils. Councilors were elected by the people of the island. Councilors got the authority to make decisions in the name of island people. Councilors got the ful authority to decide what to do for their island and the people. They got the authority to utilize the resources within their jurisdiction outlined by the decentralization Act. Councilors, too, got the authority to pass local regulations well in accordance with the constitution, and ratified other laws and regulations.

Historical political changes in Ukulhas[edit]

1. Kathe Kaleyfaanu (javaahirumaage’) (at the time of Shamsudhin) (Grand Father of Ibrahim Ali, (Dhon Ibrahim), Reynige’ Dhonfuthu Kuda Katheebu (Brother of Maakudey)

2. Ibrahim Katheeb (Irumatheege’, Father of Kalhuthube’ and a grand father of Dhon Hassan) (At the time of Shamsuddin)

3. Katheebu Kujjage Bappa, Abdulla Katheeb (Grand Father of Hassan fulhu and Alifulhu)

4. Maakudey (Father of Hakeem) (At the time of Shamsudhin)

5. Katheeb Dhonbe’ or Bodu Katheeb (Father of Rashad) at the time of President Mohamed Ameen.

6. Khalid Katheeb, Reynige’ (Later he was an Imam) at the time of Mohamed Ameen and Mohamed Fareed) Naibs was Dhon Alifulhu.

7. Alifulhu Kuda Katheeb (Brother of Dhonfathima of Dhonthuthube’)

8. Mohamed Fauzee or Kuda Katheeb (Father of Hussain Fiyaz) at the time of president Ibrahim Nasir.

9. Waleed Khalid, Noovilaage’ (at the time of president Ibrahim Nasir)Khalid was an Imam, Naibs were Bodufolhudhoo Abdul Raheem and Kuramathi Raazee

10. Dhonthuthu or Ibrahim Adam, Kuda Katheeb, (when Mohamed Fauzee died) at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. Waleed Khalid, Reynige was promoted to an Assistant Atoll Chief at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom.

11. Imad Khalid, Reynige’, Kuda Katheeb (was a former Family Health Worker, when Waleed promoted to Atoll Office), Dhonthuthu held the post of support staff.

12. Mohamed Khalid, Muringu, Kuda katheb (at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom)

13. Imad Khalid, Asseyri, Katheeb, (at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom)

14. Mohamed Khalid, Muringu, Katheeb, (at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom)

15. Abdul Latheef Imad, Kuda Katheeb (at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom)

16. Mohamed Khalid, Bodu Katheeb (at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom)

17. Imad Khalid, Kuda Katheeb, (at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom)

18. Shaukath Ibrahim, Udhares, (at the time of President Mohamed Nasheed)

19. 1st Ukulhas Council (Shaukath Ibrahim, Abdulla Firaq, Hussain Fiyaz, Ahmed Shahid Hassan and Ali Waheed at the time of President Mohamed Nasheed)

20. 2nd Ukulhas Council (Shaukath Ibrahim, Abdulla Firag, Ali Waheed, Mohamed Husnee and Ali Zameer Note: Till Khalid Kuda Katheeb, salaries were not paid officially by the government, instead of salaries; small portions were given from catches by fishing vessels, fruits and vegetables by trees etc. on a monthly basis.

Economy[edit]

Tourism[edit]

First tourist who formally visited Ukulhas

Tourism in Ukulhas formally started on 15 November 2012. The first guest house in Ukulhas is Ukulhas Inn which was founded by Mr. Ibrahim Shifaz Shaukath, Ever Blue, Aa. Ukulhas and registered on 12 September 2012. The First International tourist who visited Ukulhas formally was a Thai national named Mr. Bandarn Suetrong, who made the booking through agoda.com and travelled Maldives from Thailand. He visited Ukulhas on 15 Nov 2012 and departed on 18 Nov 2012 (stayed in Ukulhas for four days).

Restaurants and cafes[edit]

Ukulhas cafés and restaurants offer diversify cuisines including western, eastern, Indian, Thai, continental and Maldivian ones. As Ukulhas is famous for fishing, fishes have always been the most prominent element of Ukulhas food. Especially sea food dinner makes you the keen interest of Maldivian taste. Like other parts of Maldives, Ukulhas food is spicy even though restaurants are ready to meet up your taste requirements by making it milder. Sweet, sour, hot and spicy foods are common in Ukulhas.

Snacks are found to be in the name of Hedhika. Hedhika is the short eats popular in many restaurants and cafés. Hot and spicy savories are made of smoked fish, grated coconut, lime juice, onion and chili. It includes bajiya (pastry stuffed with fish), Kulhi boakibaa (fishcake), Keemia (fish rolls), gulha (fish balls), and masroshi (small pancake stuffed with fish). Sweet items are made from flour, sugar, and essence. It includes fonibaokibaa (cake made of flour), githeyo boakibaa (made of flour, onions and butter), and huni hakuru folhi (made of grated coconut, sugar and flour). Usual option is served to be a cup of black tea (kalhu sai) within the short eats. Ukulhas cafés and restaurants are opened each and every day from early morning to 1 am.

Black Y restaurant in Ukulhas

Traditional meal consists of rice, garudhiya (fish soup) and side dishes consists of chili, lemon and onion. Instead of garudhiya, fish paste known as rihaakuru and curries are also used. (These meals are served during Eid festivals, christening of child, Maulood festivals etc.)

Today Ukulhas meals have been highly affected by western items like sandwiches, margarine; jam noodles and pasta like items. For common meals, like other Maldivians, Ukulhas community uses many items for their everyday meals. Traditional recipe of breakfast and all the other meals have already been altered. Beside of it Roshi (chapatti), mashuni (made of grated coconut, fish, lemon and onions), curries (made from fish or vegetable or egg), are used as popular dishes for breakfast. For lunch variety of items are prepared. Most of the islanders take rice with various types of curries (e.g.: curries made by fish, vegetable, chicken, dhal, potato, egg etc.), salads, garudhiya (fish soup), fried fishes, fried chickens, barbecued grilled fishes, raw vegetables and many others. Those meals are also served with numerous types of drinks. Coconut and Orange juice are the most popular drinks within the meals in Ukulhas Island.

Variety of appetizers, deserts, cool, soft drinks and coffees are also available at the restaurants. Alcoholic beverages and pork are prohibited by law in the local islands as per Maldives is known to be a 100 percent Muslim country. However those are served in other resorts and Cruises.

Waste management[edit]

Ukulhas is well regarded as an environment friendly Island where the waste is managed in a systematic manner. As a result of its outstanding services to protect and preserve the vulnerable environment, Ukulhas achieved the ‘Green Leaf Award’ by the Maldivian government in the year 2014. Ukulhas implements huge cleaning programs, planting programs, several programs on waste management and programs on marine and biodiversity. Hence today Ukulhas is exemplary island on dealing with mega environmental issues which results Ukulhas is marked as environmentally role model Island in its archipelago.

Wooden sign boards

Today ukulhas islanders do not require going out for dump their garbage; Island council manages island wastes in a systematic manner. For outside trash management, dustbins are kept in an adequate distance everywhere in the island. People in the island may not require throw their litters such as cans, bottle, papers etc. Therefore, the island and its beaches are kept clean and tidy. In ukulhas, households manage their wastes by segregation, such as recyclable items (e.g.; aluminum, copper, steel, plastics, papers etc.), organic items (e.g.; food items), and plant materials (e.g.; leaves, stems etc.). After the segregation the wastes are kept in the houses. Except Friday, each day council pick-up visits houses to collect segregated wastes for disposing and managing; Fees are collected by the council for the waste management.

Collected house hold wastes are segregated by the ‘Waste Management Centre’ into organic items, Recyclable items and Plant materials. After the segregation wastes are disposed. Since landfill method is very common in Maldives, Ukulhas is one of the first islands where landfill method is not practiced.

Three major methods are used in ukulhas for the disposal; such as recycling, pyrolysis and Composting. Aluminium items such as beverage cans, copper such as wires, steel and aerosol cans, old steel furnishings or equipment, polyethylene and PET bottles, Glass bottles and jars etc. are separated. Recyclable items are sold once or twice a month. For the pyrolysis, plant items, wooden materials, card boards, magazines, light paper, etc. are placed on a decomposition chamber which is burned into charcoal and ash. For the composting, organic matters are decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer. It is a key ingredient for organic farming. For decompose organic matters such as leaves, ‘green’ food wastes are wetted make a heap and keep those heaps for a week or months to break down into humus. After the breaking down into humus, composed fertilizers are packed and labelled for the sale.[6][7][8][9][10]

Education[edit]

Ukulhas School[edit]

GCE Advance Level Education in Ukulhas Island

‘Ukulhahu School’ established in the island of Ukulhas is recognized and notified as the first ever A-Level institution in the North Ari Atoll in the history of its archipelago. The A Level studies program (A Level campaign) was started and initiated with an immense effort led by the people of Ukulhas Island.

After the inauguration of the A-Level program, Ukulhas community composed an organizing and managing committee for the A-Level program in the name of “A Level Committee”. When the A-level committee emerged from the first day itself they started its functions, trying to cross all the steps towards its establishment and sustainability. With enormous and tremendous efforts led together by the A Level Committee and the citizens of ukulhas the A-Level program has reaped immense success as the first A- level batch of the institution achieved the national top ten awards.[1] For the continuity and sustainability of the ‘Ukulhas A Level program’ from the beginning, the citizens of ukulhas have been filling their commitment volunteering and providing free aid for all the students at all means if it is in relation with their academic progress.

Qualified students from other islands are highly invited to join the program with Ukulhas Community providing everything required for the whole A Level program including travel costs, accommodation, clothing, uniform, pocket money, books, stationeries etc. Ukulhas community spends more than 1.5 million rufiyaa each year for the program. It’s a huge and a fantastic opportunity to join the ‘Ukulhas School’ to pursue A-Level studies in a gentle and a friendly environment.

Ukulhas School

Healthcare[edit]

Based on historical findings, there were no provisions of formal health services in Ukulhas before 1982. Before 1982 people in Ukulhas used to obtain health services from traditional medical practitioners. Traditional medical practitioners used to treat patients by using herbal medicine, which referred to as plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, flowers etc .

Formal health services were first established in Ukulhas at the island’s administrative office on 7 June 1982 by establishing an independent section with a local Family Health worker. The family Health worker was a person who only qualified for the provision of limited, basic health services, such as local consultations, counseling, distribution of birth control drugs, dressing a wound, distribution of other symptomatic medicines etc. It was Family Health worker’s duty to visit local residences in a periodic manner to monitor the health standards of Islanders and to maintain records which have to be sent to the Concern central government Authorities.

After several years of limited health services provided by a local Family Health worker, people of Ukulhas found an independent Health institution in the name of Health Post on 14 August 2004, with more facilities and equipment available than the ‘Family Health Section’. Health post provided two trained traditional birth attendants with Family Health workers.

On 1 June 2007, the day started with a new chapter by establishing a Health Center after many years of limited Health services with a professional Medical Officer (Medical Doctor), Staff Nurses and Administrative staffs. Health Center is equipped with modern sophisticated equipment including, ECG machine, Nebulization facilities, IV injections etc. The Centre also designed with consultation rooms, admission wards, and other required facilities. The Health Centre started its operation with a Pharmacy and an ambulance which operates for urgent and exceptional matters.

Health Centre is operating with a qualified doctor who is assisted by nurses and is always on standby for urgent matters after his scheduled duty every day. The Centre is open for its services for Accidents and emergency care for 24 hours a day.

Sport and leisure[edit]

Gymnasium and fitness training[edit]

'Body Work' in Ukulhas is the first ever established body building and fitness training institution in North Ari Atoll. Sophisticated equipment available such as, bench press machine, chest fly machine, shoulder press machine, let pull down machine, biceps curl machine, leg extension machine etc. The gym is organized and run by the oldest Association in the island known as Glorious Sports Club (GSC).

Kudakudhinge Ufa (Children's park)[edit]

This magnificent park, Kudakudhinge Ufa stands proudly as a testament to the community's commitment to the well-being of the children. Children enjoy playgrounds and entertaining feature such as plastic toys, outdoor fitness equipment, leisure chairs, bungee trampoline and other suitable equipment. The park is designed for all ages of children, with adult supervision.

The entire park is surrounded by security fencing with gates at main entry. Part of the playing area is a grassy lawn area with benches and shaded structures. Benches are placed as outdoor seating which have been provided by the landscape and slip resistant paving goes along with the theme of the design which starts from the entry.

In front the main entrance, a beautiful fish pond is seen with various pond fishes such as cat fish, Algae eater, Fathead minnow, Gold Fish, Koi carp, Sturgeon etc. Precisely this park should be an example of why 'Ukulhas' is such a great place to work and live.

Culture[edit]

Dress code[edit]

Ukulhas culture has been diversified by Arabs, Africans, Sinhalese, and Indians. Lifestyle and the ordinary dress of the man was very simple, consisting of drawers, a cloth bound around the loins, after the mode of the Singhalese, and a handkerchief twisted round the head. On special days, such as Fridays, when they attend the mosque, the high caste wears a shirt and jacket.

Costume[edit]

The women's costume is exceedingly becoming. A cloth is worn around the waist, and reaching down to the ankles, (mostly of native manufacture), coarse in texture, of a dark chocolate colour, with a border of parallel black and white stripes. Over this they wear a kind of loose shirt, or gown, of silk, with short sleeves, reaching nearly to the knees, which is not made to fit to the neck and shoulders, but is gathered in round them; the openings for the neck and arms are ornamented with embroidery in gold, silver, and silk thread. The hair, which is black, and generally long and thick, is tied up behind, and a handkerchief of the same colour as the shirt is bound round it. All ranks wear similar costumes, the distinctions of caste being marked by the difference in the quality of the silk material of which the shirt is made, and of the embroidery.

Skill of manufacturing[edit]

Maldivians were denoted for a great skill of manufacturing mats as though they were fond of great skill of lacquer and fine arts, which led them to hold their reputation upon their harmonious life and furnishing of their reputation. In Suvadiva Atoll of Maldives they were made from a grass called by the Maldivian hau; which were used with three colours of black, dark yellow and white and which were obtained from plants which were lasted quite a long time. Walls mostly were built from coconut thatch, which surrounded most of the houses at the height of six to seven feet. This impeded the free air passage especially as the windows where too small to admit the breezes, which results in some residents being unhealthy even though their houses were scrupulously clean. The Maldivian so-called design, was sometimes made apparent in case of illness, as many could have survived if they could have refrained from closing the passage of air. The inner compartment in the houses was used as a sleeping room in many of the houses, and this apartment also remains for women especially when they were not engaged in household or any other activity.

Conch-shell (Sangu) blowing[edit]

The Sangu (Conch shell), kept in the Ukulhas council is said to be one of the oldest heritages found in the Ukulhas throughout the recent couple of decades. The conch shell is believed to have existed since the time of first historically known head of Island administration, Mr. Katheeb Kaleyfaanu (Javaahirumaage’, Aa.Ukulhas) who became the head of Ukulhas administration during the reign of Mohammed Shamsuddin III. For generations, in Ukulhas, the Katheeb (Head of Island Administration) would call the islanders to gather by blowing the Conch Shell for several occasions such as pulling fishing vessel ashore and pushing fishing vessel offshore, collecting logs from forest for firewood, before Friday prayer for bringing public attention, calling for the meal before the down prayer during the month of Ramadan and during the emergency situation. Conch shell blowing intervals were varied accordance with the males and females. The sound of conch shell would resonate throughout the Island by alerting the people. It used to be blown two times in three consecutive period by providing a short pause between each blown period for gathering of females, three times of blown periods were provided consecutively by providing short pause between each blown period for gathering of males and four times in three consecutive times of blown periods were provided for gathering of males and females together. In order to gather males and females in the emergency situation, short intervals of blowing were made consecutively without the pause.

Canoes[edit]

Within the fort there would be many old canoes, some might be quite useless, being rusty and chocked with coral. Some were supposed to be serviceable while some are precisely not. The unserviceable canoes and fishing vessels would be taken back for firewood to cook their regular meals.

Fishing and other activities[edit]

Fishing was their favourite exercise, however selling coir ropes and thatches made by islanders and a collection of cowry shells, turtle shells and ambergris were sold to produce their major income.

Maadu[edit]

Ukulhas 'Maadu' is an extremely delicious, rounded shape, elaborated cake shaped sweet which is prepared on the occasion of Eid festivity to deliver the real traditional taste of their homemade confection. The texture of this sweet is really similar to toffee and other homemade confection but the taste is really different. Step 1 In a flat-bottomed aluminium deep pan put all the pre-selected ingredients for Hunihakuru (Coconut sugary paste), made by ground tendered coconuts (Gabulhi Huni), toddy based suger (Dhiyaahakuru), and Pandan leaves (Raabaafai) for additional flavours. Melt on a very low flame, whisk all the ingredients by a wooden spoon until it becomes thick, dough coconut sugary paste. Step 2 Keep the flat-bottomed aluminium deep pan over the open flame or rudimentary stove made by three stones in a triangle shape which acts as a support to the cooking pan and wrap sea hibiscus leaves (Dhiggaa fai) or banana leaves (keyo fai) inside the bottom of the pan and surrounding edge of the pan. Put coconut sugary pastes (Hunihakuru) inside the wrapped pan after mixing up the coconut augary paste with ground cassava (Dhandialuvi fuh), flour, ground rice (handoo fuh) and some rose waters (Maafen - Finifenmaa or Huvandhumaa). Keep few sea hibiscus leaves or banana leaves on the combined ingredients in the pan and put thick ringed ash on top of the ingredients. Put coconut husks on top of ash ring and below the pan. Put the fire on top and bottom of the pan. Continue the heat for three consecutive times. Each heating time coconut husks have to be renewed. After all, the maadu is made! This cake shaped sweet definitely gives a fantastic taste!

Cultural music in Ukulhas[edit]

Boduberu is one of the most popular forms of traditional music and dance founds in Ukulhas even in the Maldives too. Boduberu is performed by about 15 people, including four drummers with background and a lead singer. Bodu beru is played with a set of drums and an Onugan’du.

'Rahgudaa' (cultural music called 'Boduberu' band of Ukulhas)

Onudgadu is a small piece of bamboo which lays horizontal grooves, from which raspy sounds are produced by scraping. The songs may be of heroism, romance or satire. The prelude to the song is a slow with emphasis on drumming, and dancing. As the song reaches a crescendo, one or two dancers maintain the wild beat with their frantic movements ending in some cases in a terrace. The costume of the performers is a sarong and white sleeved shirt.

Cultural Music Band - Rahguda[edit]

Rahguda is the most famous boduberu group in the Ukulhas Island, also known one of the top ranked Boduberu groups among all the Boduberu groups in Maldives. Rahguda achieved the 2nd place at MNBC Boduberu challenge (The biggest Boduberu competition lively telecasted and organized by the biggest TV channel in the country, also the highest number of Boduberu group participated competition in the Maldives) in the year 2011. The Lead Vocalist position of the year also won by the lead sinsger Sihante’ from Rahguda. Rahguda appears with their special performances during the Eid festivals, Cleaning day events, Marriage Ceremonies’ etc. Rahguda also visits Male’ occasionally to perform in specials events by invitations.The most delightful thing is that Rahguda always does give their shows to the people of Ukulhas free of charge.

Religion[edit]

Kudamiski'y[edit]

'Kudamikiy' The oldest mosque in Ukulhas The oldest mosque in Ukulhas Island

The oldest mosque in Ukulhas. The oldest and culturally most impressive structure in the Ukulhas is 'Maamiskiy' or Kuda Miskiy (Old Friday Mosque), which is also known as oldest monument, built in 1656, during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar.

The coral-stone structures indicate walls are intricately carved with patterns. Before the interior was superb and famed for its fine lacquer work and elaborate woodcarvings, but later on it was replaced by modern roofing sheets due to fungus appearance. Now the mosque has been left for free due to the insufficient space inside for worship.

Notable people[edit]

Khalidbe[edit]

Khalidbe', 76, strongest old man lived in Ukulhas, famed for his braveness and strongness, was a fisherman who started his fishing at the age of 10 and known as the oldest fisherman who practiced fishing activities same as his young followers. He did carpentry works, worked as a toddy man, worked as a social worker and helped many people for their starvation during the economic disaster led by world war 2 . He used to climb 16 palm trees a day to take toddy for more than two years and used to help poor families. He was a kind and generous man who was familiar to rest of the Islanders.

Khalidbe'

Ibrahim Adam (Kaadu Dhonbe')[edit]

Ibrahim Adam (Kaadu Dhonbe'), 78, an extraordinary social worker, brilliant mathematician when he was young, certified Latin language teacher who learned Mathematics at the age of 19 from Ekolhumathee Beybe, Kudakatheeb Alifulhu and Khalidbe', is a well remarkable man from Ukulhas. He was assigned as a Shopkeeper of 'Kaaduge' (the only shop available in the island) at the time of President Mohamed Ameen, to sell staple foods such as rice, wheat, maize etc, where his salary was about g500 of millet (1 raathaa hila binbi) which was later replaced by a portion from fish catches. He was assigned as an 'Assistant Head of Island' on 20th May 1975, served as an assistant head of island for 11 years and served in the state for 39 years and was retired at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. He was assigned as an official volunteer to provide fundamental education to all the illiterate men and women in the Island and served as a volunteer for more than 4 years. He used to attend all the inquiry based on Mathematics. Kaadu Dhonbe knows traditional music such as Gaaodilava, Thaara, Dhigumagu ete and he is a well-known cultural music trainer. His main social activity was keeping the Island clean and tidy. He himself did various cleaning activities and kept encouraging men and women to involve in cleaning activities.

Ibrahim Adam (Kaadu Dhonbe')

Kalhuthube'[edit]

Kalhuhthube', 75, is a great man from Ukulhas, known as a genealogist, who has a vast knowledge of ancestry. He taught great details of 'Aage Ali' ancestry and other dynasties of Ukulhas which made to realise his strong memory. He was a skilled mason too when he was young, he used to build many water wells and never charged anything for his work and time. He is also famed for lagoon fishing and pole and line fishing, who is known one of the few skilled men who knows how to catch horse mackerels in rough seas.

Kalhuthube sitting in the harbor

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Ukulhas travel guide from Wikivoyage